Tag Archives: Lancashire

15 Fantastic things to do in Blackpool

Living in Manchester and having been a semi regular visitor to Blackpool since I was in a pram, so I like to think I know the town reasonably well. We recently visited the area for a weekend of glamping, so I’ve compiled a list of some good stuff to do in the area.

The Blackpool Tower – the tower is such an iconic place to visit. I always like to race up to the top to see how far I can see. The tower is packed with attractions and things to do, you can happily spend a whole day here.

The Sandcastle Waterpark – don’t forget your trunks! The Sandcastle is a brilliant place to spend the day with the family, riding the slides and splashing about.

Blackpool Tower Dungeon – Not for small children, but if you love being spooked, a visit to the dungeon is a must.

Blackpool SEA LIFE Centre – being beside the sea, this SEA LIFE Centre gives visitors a great, and often hands on idea about the creatures which lurk beneath the waves.

The Ultimate Review Round up of Merlin Attractions in the UK

Madame Tussauds Blackpool – a rainy day activity for sure! Visit all your favourite famous faces, and have a drink in the replica Rovers Return.

The Blackpool Tower Circus – the show changes every year, but it’s always funny, frivolous and fabulous. It’s a brilliant family show in a beautiful theatre.

Coral Island (other arcades are available) – I can never resist a trip to an arcade, it’s a great place to spend up your loose change and win a few prizes with the family.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach – spend a day riding the roller-coasters at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Classic seaside fun!

Blackpool Zoo – one of the best zoos in the UK, Blackpool Zoo has everything from a children’s farm, to elephants and sealions.

Blackpool Rail Trail and Walk – For keen walkers and explorers, the Rail Trail sounds excellent. The Rail Trail begins at Blackpool North station and takes you along the streets lined with local shops, down onto the Promenade and beyond. It’s a great way to explore the area and see things you might usually miss.

Blackpool Comedy Carpet – the comedy carpet is probably my favourite place to visit in Blackpool. It’s 2,200 metres square of comedy quotes from 1000 of our favourite comedians. Every time I visit I seem to find something I’d not seen before. It’s a real treat and is located in front of the Tower on the Promenade.

15 Fantastic things to do in Blackpool

Blackpool Lifeboat Station – The Lifeboat Station is on the Central Promenade. It’s one of only two RNLI stations to house three inshore lifeboats – an Atlantic 85 and two D class lifeboats. There’s a visitors centre and shop and a visit to the lifeboat station is a great place to learn more about this lifesaving charity.

Blackpool Illuminations – Were you even brought up in the north if you didn’t go and see the illuminations. Bigger, brighter and better each year, the illuminations are a solid tradition.

Heritage Tram Tours  – take a ride along the world famous tramway aboard a piece of moving history! It’s a fun way to see the sights aboard one of their vintage trams.

Marton Mere Nature Reserve – a short drive from the town, but a must for nature lovers, Marton Mere Nature Reserve. There’s an otter enclosure, pond dipping zone, an inspirational eco-garden and the opportunity to enjoy close-up encounters with around 100 species of international water-birds as they swim, feed and wander in wetlands custom-designed to mimic their natural homes.

Blackpool is so much more than these 15 attractions and things to do I’ve picked out. Have I missed any must see things? Please comment below to add to the list!

15 Fantastic things to do in Blackpool

Glamping at Stanley Villa Farm Camping, Lancashire

AD – Press Trip. Regular readers will know that I love a good glamp. I grew up holidaying under canvas, but times have changed and I like sleeping in a proper bed and not living in fear of the tent collapsing in the night (which seemed to happen with alarming regularity when I was a child). Over the weekend the boys and I headed an hour from home, to the comfort of Stanley Villa Farm Camping, just outside Blackpool.

Stanley Villa Farm Camping is a really sweet site. Located next to its own fishing lake, there are 24 pods on site. The pods are nicely spaced apart and are dotted around the edge of a field. Naturally all the children on site meet in the middle and all play together, which was brilliant for my only child. It never takes him long to make friends and before we’d unpacked the car he was running around with his new chums.

Glamping at Stanley Villa Farm Camping, Lancashire

We were met by Alex, the owner who showed us to our pod and made sure we had everything we needed. The pod itself contains two comfortable single beds. We brought our own air bed and if you move the beds there’s room for a double airbed. Plenty of room for two adults and two children. Each pod has its own outdoor fire pit and you can buy in optional extras, like camping chairs, or a firewood package, or fairy lights. They’ve thought of everything.

Glamping at Stanley Villa Farm Camping, Lancashire

On site there’s a games room overlooking the lake. It’s a wooden lodge which had a comfortable room to hang out and play games in. There’s also a kitchen area where you can make hot drinks and light snacks, tea and coffee are provided free of charge, which is nice. There are also several bathrooms with showers; they’re warm and clean and a welcome change from some of the campsite facilities I’ve been familiar with over the years.

Glamping at Stanley Villa Farm Camping, Lancashire

The fishing lake is a lovely thing to be near. The lake is well stocked with trout and we enjoyed evening strolls around it. There was lots of wildlife to be seen if you’re looking in the right places. We spotted swans and their cygnets, geese, ducks, moorhens and even a hedgehog. I went for a walk at dusk and I’m pretty sure I saw a couple of bats too!

The pod is basic, but it doesn’t feel like you are roughing it. You do need to take your own bedding and towels, and the other things you might need, like camping chairs. We took a cool box and couple of disposable BBQs and cooked sausages for our tea. The pods are light and bright, with big windows at the back. There are blinds too, so you can shut out the light. The fresh air and exercise meant we all slept like a dream.

Glamping at Stanley Villa Farm Camping, Lancashire

We’ve glamped in lots of different places, this was our first pod and I was worried that it would be chilly at night. I had nothing to worry about; it was so cosy that I slept on top of my covers (even though there was wind and rain outside).

Besides the games room there’s lots for kids to do; there’s a Mini Play-Pod with an assortment of toys including footballs, swing balls; badminton rackets and a host of board games in the main lodge for when the weather isn’t so nice.

In terms of location, it’s 15 minutes drive from Blackpool and nestled in a really good spot for exploring Lancashire. While we were there we drove to Lytham St Annes for a look around the shops. It’s full of really good old fashioned shops, which I loved. We also drove over to the Forest of Bowland for a walk and lunch at the Inn at Whitewell; a real treat!

Glamping at Stanley Villa Farm Camping, Lancashire

It costs from £49 to hire a pod for a night and it’s a really chilled out place to stay. We thought it would be ideal if you’re visiting the bright lights of Blackpool but don’t fancy staying in a hotel or B&B. For us it was just a great spot to chill out. We didn’t have grand plans to go to the Pleasure Beach or stroll along the prom; just getting away from home for a couple of nights and switching off from everything at home did us the power of good.

We would absolutely stay at Stanley Villa Farm Camping again. Small but perfectly formed, with all the comforts of home and with the cosiest of cosy pods. The location was great and we had a very warm welcome and a great stay.

To find out more about Stanley Villa Farm Camping, visit their website.

stanley villa

Disclosure: We were invited guests of Stanley Villa Farm Camping, all images and opinions are our own.

Win Luxury Handmade Truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £28

With Christmas just around the corner, there are some things on everyone’s shopping lists – mince pies, Christmas pudding, a bottle of sherry for Granny, not forgetting a box or two of delicious chocolate truffles to give to friends and loved ones.

Back in September we reviewed the new collection of luxury handmade truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates. The new collection includes boxes of Champagne, Pink Champagne, Prosecco and Sea Salted Caramel flavoured truffles. Each box contains 9 truffles and costs £6.99 per beautiful box.

Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles

These beautiful boxes of handmade truffles are presented in a pastel box emblazoned with the phrase “All you need is Love & Chocolate”. They’re eye-catching and appealing boxes of chocolates which would make a lovely gift for someone special, or a lovely treat for yourself.

These luxury handmade truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates are a real treat. They’re as pretty as a picture, they’re utterly delicious and they’d make really lovely little gifts this Christmas.

Find out more about Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles on their website.

Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles

Win Luxury Handmade Truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £28

To be in with a chance to win a selection of Luxury Handmade Truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £28, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will receive a Luxury Handmade Truffle Selection from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £28.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 13th December 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Days Out: Wild Discovery at Ribby Hall

At the end of August I took the small boy away for five days at Ribby Hall in Lancashire. We had a brilliant little break, but one of the highlights was visiting the small independent zoo which is on the site, Wild Discovery. We’ve been to zoos large and small, but never have we experienced anything like the interactive and hands-on experience we had at Wild Discovery.

Days Out: Wild Discovery at Ribby Hall

From our cottage at Ribby Hall we could see some of the enclosures at Wild Discovery, which is quite special if you’re staying in the village. We set aside an afternoon to spend exploring Wild Discovery. It’s the kind of thing you can whip around in half an hour, or you could easily spend a day exploring and interacting. We went twice during our stay, which tells you how much we enjoyed it.

There are lots of different animals and birds at Wild Discovery; from farmyard animals like rare breed pigs, pretty little calves, a reindeer, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep and even an orphan duck. There’s an exotic house with bats, insects, reptiles and some fish, as well as tortoise, armadillo and lovely little marmoset monkeys.

The favourites with the children were the meerkats, obviously. The family group at Wild Discovery are great fun, especially at feeding time. We were lucky enough to be there a few times when they were being fed. They are such funny, cheeky little creatures.

Days Out: Wild Discovery at Ribby Hall

There is a safari walk which takes you past all the birds, past the Asian small-clawed otters, the capybara, pelicans, alpaca, wallaby’s, rhea and the porcupine (adorably called Pricklelilly).

My son was particularly taken with the Asian small-clawed otters Ollie and Geoff. During a keeper session we helped to put together an enrichment activity for them, putting live mealworms into a ball for the otters to play with and eat. We ended up spending quite a lot of time watching Geoff and Ollie playing in their enclosure and ultimately adopting them both. (We’re planning to visit them again soon).

Days Out: Wild Discovery at Ribby Hall

There are regular sessions throughout the day which you are free to join in with. The sessions are listed on their website, but they currently include; the Farmyard Talk; an Enrichment Activity; Otter Talk and Feed; Pelican Feeding Talk; Meerkat Talk; Farmyard Talk; Armadillo Talk and Meet the Keeper.

These sessions are what made Wild Discovery so special for us both. We really loved that you could spend time with the staff learning about the animals. The keepers would often let you touch the animals or feed them if appropriate. One of our highlights was discovering a freshly laid (unfertilised) rhea egg and getting to touch it while it was still warm.

Days Out: Wild Discovery at Ribby Hall

We learned so much at Wild Discovery, it’s such a friendly place and so hands on. It’s still quite new, I know they have plans to build and extend what they have and add new animals over the next few years or so. It’s such a great place to visit, even if you’re not staying at Ribby Hall.

Wild Discovery will also feature on popular the Cbeebies TV programme “Fern & Rory’s Vet Tales” in 2018. The programme will feature Wild Discovery and showcase several of the animals in the zoo. They will also feature a behind the scenes look into the work of the Exotic Veterinary Team. Worth looking out for!

Tickets to Wild Discovery (with unlimited access for one day) are £7 for adults and £6 for children. Under 3’s go free. For more information about visiting Wild Discovery  visit their website.

We paid for our tickets to Wild Discovery. We’ve not been paid to write this post. We are just sharing a lovely experience of a great attraction.

Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles

I’m a fan of Beech’s Fine Chocolates who are based just up the road from me in Lancashire. Beech’s Fine Chocolates have been making quality, traditional British Chocolates since 1920, including novelties for children, right up to their latest range of luxury handmade truffles.

Their new collection of luxury handmade truffles includes Champagne, Pink Champagne, Prosecco and Sea Salted Caramel flavours. Each box contains 9 truffles and costs £6.99 per beautiful box.

Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles

The silver embossing on the boxes is especially lovely. Each pastel box is emblazoned with the phrase “All you need is Love & Chocolate”. It’s an eye-catching and appealing box of chocolates which would make a lovely gift for someone special.

I’m someone who gets given a box of Champagne truffles for my birthday and Christmas, so I’ve tried quite a lot of Champagne truffles over the years and these were excellent. Packed full of Champagne flavour, but not so much that it overwhelms the thick chocolate shell.

I had never until now tried a Pink Champagne truffle. These lightly dusted truffles burst with Pink Champagne flavour. They are made with white chocolate and they’re so delicate in every way. They might be my new favourite Champagne truffle.

Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles

I am pleased to see that Prosecco truffles are part of the new range. I’ve never tried a Prosecco truffle before but I’ve got a feeling these will be popular. The milk chocolate truffles are delicious; slightly more delicate that the Champagne truffles but just as smooth and creamy inside.

Last but my no means least are the Anglesey Sea Salted Caramel truffles. These have been dusted with cocoa and filled with salted caramel. They’re so good. Really luxurious, not too salty and with a nice balance between the chocolate and the caramel. I loved them.

These luxury handmade truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates are a real treat. They’re as pretty as a picture, they’re utterly delicious and they’d make really lovely little gifts this Christmas.

Find out more about Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles on their website.

Note: We were sent these truffles for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.